Travel Tips with Children ~ Works for Me

Tara Head Shot
Guest blog by: Tara Reuhs

Parents, in general, spend a great majority of time in theirr car, SUV, or van. My children and I must commute at least an hour to and from school every day. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of things that can be done as you commute. Take it from me and from other parents living in our cars, there are many fun and motivational activities to do rather than just putting on a video for entertainment.

Here are some very helpful things I do in my commute with my two boys:.

Spelling tests. Who says you need to study at home? My two boys will quiz each other. We will make it a game and try to do as many words as we can (sometimes that’s just the length of the test).

Math quiz. Did you ever think that you could learn math facts so fast? My boys will go through all addition and subtraction facts by the time we get to school. We need to learn them by heart for the quiz, right?

Tell me about your day. This usually start will a recap of what happens during the day at school. Believe me, it is hard to get boys to talk, but you might get one or two nuggets to treasure or a teachable moment.

Slug Bug. I know, I know, we all played it. What is fun about this game is that you have to pay attention! We keep score. Sometimes it takes a lot or a little to make it work.

Car Jamming. I don’t know about you but my kids love to jam out to music. A local Christian station has the dance party on Friday. I am sure a lot of commuters wonder what is happening in our car.

Read to each other. My two boys can read now. They are required to take those dreaded reading tests. Turn off the radio and let them read to each other. It is rewarding and also fun to hear your child read his or her favorite story.

Let them play. We have creative imaginations. My boys will say to each other, let’s play and they do. Sometimes it amazes me what I can absorb by listening to them. I can’t imagine what I would miss if I didn’t let them play. The best games are the ones that they make up. It could be Star Wars, or Rocky and Bullwinkle. Sometimes, the boys get so loud I have to tell them to turn it down.

Let them draw or write.
This could be great for long trips. My husband made a great writing desk with a place for crayons. They would color or sometimes do puzzles. It’s fun to create in the car.

Flash cards. No, you say not more education! Yes, and make it fun. On a road trip across the country when the kids were little we did shapes, numbers, letters and more. The more cards gave them credit to pick where we ate or stopped.

Video games and tablet. Yes, I know, we can’t totally have them buzzing in the background. Take the time to make sure those games do not control them. Set limits and also try to make it just for a little bit, not the whole trip.

Here are just a few examples of what you can do to make that commute a little more enjoyable. What do you do to keep your kids “unplugged” while on long drives?


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 'Becca
    May 08, 2013 @ 20:26:26

    Another great option for drawing is a MagnaDoodle because there are no crayons/markers that can mark on the car or get lost.


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